Tuesday, March 30, 2010


You know, it's not all surrealism here in Grimgrvy Land, sometimes we do other things. For example, a couple days ago me and some friends decided to try out the Cube gamemode for Garry's Mod. Now, if you know me, and I'm sure my two or three readers certainly do not, I think the movie Cube was the most perfect ontological mystery distilled to film form and the fact that very skilled Lua programmers and mappers enjoy it to is even better.

Anywho, me and Idontknow wanted to play something because I was tired of fooling around with SDK and he was bored with I don't care what he was doing. We both downloaded the gamemode and after a lot of trial and error a server was made.

As I joined and downloaded all his useless text files from the server I was gloating to myself because, since I've seen the movie twice, I was obviously going to be far superior at getting out of the Cube. Plus, I can factor prime powers so that's good too.

We tried to stay together in a little group and take turns testing rooms to see if they were trapped. However, the rooms would constantly shift and we would be separated, often without any way to test a room for traps. Both of us died, a lot.

The moment I remember most fondly is when I fell into a trap, it wasn't like the other traps. You see, all the doors in the room lock and a gun falls from the ceiling.

You're expected to shoot yourself.

Being the prideful genius that I am I decided to simply not pick up the gun. So I sat in the corner of the room for five minutes just staring at it. By strange coincidence Idontknow somehow glitched into the room when some other rooms shifted and as he fell from the ceiling and landed right on top the of the gun. I laughed at him, from the chat, and demanded that he shoot himself. We argued, names were thrown around but he wouldn't budge. His only option was to shoot himself but he just wouldn't do it. So we stayed in that room for about two minutes before he finally shot himself. Apparently, it's because he couldn't stand looking at me anymore. 'Whatever' I thought, 'The doors will open any second now'.

They didn't.

So I sat in that room until the round ended.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Abstract Day!

Happy Abstract Day everybody!

Why is it Abstract Day? Because my first fairly goodish map Abstract Hallways was released one year ago today on garrysmod.org. We're going to have so much fun here on the first annual Abstract Day, playing abstract games like Pin the Tail on the M.C. Escher or Non-Euclidean Jenga. Later we'll eat the traditional abstract turkey and surreal pamplemousse pie. All the while we'll be watching Abstract Day specials on TV like "How Hunter S. Thompson Saved Abstract Day". Everyone will curl up near the fire (which is green) listening to discarded doors crackle over the open flame and share stories. Then, just before the sun peaks over the horizon over our psychedelic desert home we'll enjoy a chocolate cake shaped like a door.

That or Idontknow will totally not be able to make a working server and everyone will go home.


Monday, March 8, 2010

The Deal

After some quick Google'ing I have a pretty good idea of what people think of Paranoia.


No, I am NOT done talking about this. It's my magnus opus.

First of all, some of the biggest complaints it's gotten is that there isn't enough combat. On the other hand, some people have said that the brief few-and-far-between fights were a good thing. Other's have said that it wasn't really memorable, that while it was all weird and nonsensical Paranoia doesn't stand out enough. The implications of this are startling; there are people out there who want my maps to be weirder.

Also, apparently a lot of people have been having trouble with the puzzles. The biggest offenders seem to be the lever that turns on the power for the first elevator, the breakable floorboards in the swamp and resisting the compulsion to shoot the medic (I named him Leon) near the end.

I really don't know how to go about that last one. I could make the solutions more obvious but that might displease some of the more puzzle-affluent players. As for the other problems; make sparse fighting scenes that stand out for being over-the-top awesome and not even messing around with normal architecture next time around. Surrealism is now the rule, not the exception.

What makes a good abstract map? This does:
  • Exploration. The player cannot be punished for poking around a bit.
  • Juxtaposition. Some of the best Surrealism came from putting familiar objects in strange places. Rene Magritte was really one of the best at this.
  • Confusion of Perspective. Make the player question where they are; Up? Down? On a Train? Riding a Moose? M.C. Escher is one of the best references for this kind of thing.
  • Trains. I have a feeling trains will be synonymous the the Paranoia series.
What? Oh right, I've made a slew of videos this past couple of days. Nothing special. This one was actually co-created by Idontknow.

I can always tell that it'll be a huge mess when we make videos together. This one for example: Yes, these clips were very easy to make and took no time at all. How long did we spend making this video? At least three hours. You see, the evening started when I sent him a link to a video of Gary Busey. We both decided that it would be hilarious to remake that scene in Garry's Mod (First person to guess which movie it's from wins.). We planned the scene, made the server, and the got to work. However, we decided to review the original footage with the In-game Youtube Player Addon and that's when all our efforts crumbled around us. Gary's insanity must have reached out to us because in no time at all the entire map was engulfed in fire. We went around breaking every window in the level and then put mattresses in the hole. Why? To keep Gary Busey out of the house, that's why. Almost every NPC was dead by the time we started filming again.

And then we went back to breaking windows.

I regret nothing.

I almost forgot to mention, Paranoia was mentioned on the TVTropes page for Garry's Mod. So that's something to think about.